2 See the articles on Psychical Research; Magic; Conjuring; Automatism; Divination; Crystal Gazing; Hypnotism; Apparitions; Hallucinations; Hauntings, &C.
What may broadly be called "conjuring" is a much more probable explanation of most of the recorded phenomena; and in the vast majority of cases the witnesses do not seem to have duly appreciated the possibilities of conjuring, and have consequently neither taken sufficient precautions to exclude it nor allowed for the accidental circumstances which may on any particular occasion favour special tricks or illusions.
It was for her sake, he said, that the Greeks and Barbarians fought, deluding themselves with an image of truth, for the real being was then present with the First God.3 By such specious allegories and Grecian fables Simon deceived many, while at the same time he astounded them by his magic. A description is given of how he made a familiar spirit for himself by conjuring the soul out of a boy and keeping his image in his bedroom, and many instances of his feats of magic are given.
Besides the general arguments for supposing that the physical phenomena of spiritualism may be due to conjuring, there are two special reasons which gain in force as time goes on.
The well-known Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly was taken down in 1906, and the permanent conjuring entertainment for which (besides picture exhibitions) it was noted was removed elsewhere.
Healing the sick and conjuring the evil spirit, they traversed different countries and spread their apocryphal literature along with some of the books of the Old Testament, deeply influencing the religious spirit of the nations, and preparing them for the Reformation.
Fortunately the birds soon become tame in confinement, and a little patience will enable an attentive observer to satisfy himself as to the process, the result of which at first seems almost as unaccountable as that of a clever conjuring trick.